Spring 2019 Newsletter
Welcome to the first newsletter of our 26th season. With 28 matches scheduled and a few friendlies added in by the Assistant Groundsman, we are in for another busy season. The grounds are in excellent condition but with the wet spring to date preparation of pitches has had to be carried out between showers!
Our first game this season was a historical “first” for the Club with a midweek fixture between last year’s national finalists, St Hilda’s College from Dunedin and Christchurch Girls’ High School. The day was sunny and we had one of the biggest crowds we have had to watch, along with President Nich Davidson were Sir Richard and Barry Hadlee, Cran Bull, Lea Tahuhu and North Canterbury’s own, Amy Satherthwaite
The cricket was enthralling and St Hilda’s won the game. Thanks to Hamish Loe who organised the game and all those who helped on the day.
With four games having been played the pitch has been outstanding thanks to our grounds staff and Peter Devlin.
The results have been even to date with another loss to King’s, thanks to a fine Beckham Wheeler-Greenhall century and a Willows bowler was heard to comment that retirement was the only way they could get him off the pitch. A win against a Craig Cumming coached Otago Boys’ High was very well received after Ken Rust had plotted many victories in previous years. Otago were young and keen and will bounce back next year! Wellington College came to play and were too good and restricted our run chase well.
Kelvin Scott finally made a century for The Willows, and with English import from Matfen Michael Watts put on 180 for the first wicket against St Thomas of Canterbury on an extreme hot day. A young Willows team then produced a fine bowling effort and shut St Thomas’ batsmen down and won the game. Mention must be made of our umpires for the game, as when the watering system for the wicket suddenly burst into life, both umpires resolutely stood on sprinklers and stopped water from flooding the wicket and only 15 minutes play was lost - thanks team.
The Peninsula Crays changed the game date and were unfortunately washed out!
Remember the Christmas game date of 15th December. Please put it in your diaries now! The next game on 10th November will also feature a film crew from Fox Sport who are filming a piece to be played during the Black Caps test series in Australia.
Sir Richard Hadlee and John Wright will be interviewed too - come out and feature!!
The 25th anniversary dinner held at St Bede’s College was a gala affair with a huge turn-out of members and guests. The speaker Mike Coward was a delight with many stories about cricket in general. The entertainment and food was excellent and Mike Dormer spoke passionately about the Club. Also a number of awards for service and honorary membership to the Club were made. Thanks Mike for 25 years of fun and cricket and long may The Willows flourish.
A new committee led by Nich Davidson is already making some change, with games starting earlier and lunch now held between innings, which speeds the day up.
Selections for Willows teams are made from those members who have taken time to check dates and availability and then filled in the emailed selection sheet.
If for some reason you didn’t receive an email then perhaps it has changed and you haven’t updated it with the Club, please let Di Woodward know on firstname.lastname@example.org
Matfen Scholars for 2020 have been announced, and they are Fraser Buckley from St Thomas of Canterbury and Josh McCarthy from St Bede’s College. We wish you both many runs and wickets, in what will be a life changing experience.
Henry Sail and Connor O’Leary have returned with Henry making the most runs for Matfen and Connor taking the most wickets for the season, so a productive year for The Willow’s boys.
In a first, Matfen boys Tom Scott and Michael Watts have come to play a summer season in Christchurch and have already featured in a Willows team and found the need for large amounts of sunscreen and water whilst playing - probably a big change from cricket in Northumberland. Thanks for coming down-under boys and we hope you enjoy everything about life in Christchurch.
A reminder to players, the match fee is now $30 to cover all costs, and $20 for students. As well as the teams we pay for the umpires and scorers so players need to pay this match fee or the Club is out of pocket. If you bring children for lunch, please have food for them off your plate, as we have to pay for every plate used. The food is excellent, thanks to Sue but she has to meet costs and charge accordingly.
Please remember the Christmas day at The Willows is 15th December and if you can help, it would be much appreciated, please ring or see Mike Dormer.
See you at the ground